Tuesday, January 29, 2013

T-Minus 48 Hours


I can't believe how fast the last month has gone by. It just hit me...tomorrow I start packing. O_o Seems like it's only been a few days since I made the decision to get out of this horrible town.

Tomorrow my internet gets disconnected, so I'll be using whatever free wi-fi I can find until I can afford a home connection. Probably won't get much writing done in the next week or so, but I'll keep working on stuff whenever I can.

So, this is it. One more day in this place, then the next morning I haul ass outta here. :D

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Elsewhere

The days are just zipping by, yet at the same time they feel like they're standing still. Every other time I've had to move into a new apartment, it all happened within a few days. This time, I've had about a month and a half to do it, and have managed to rent an apartment in Tucson so it'll be waiting for me to start moving my stuff in. Having that much time...it's started to feel kind of unreal. I've been trapped by my own financial situation in this town for over twenty years, then to suddenly have a way out, then have to wait so long for moving day...it's easy to forget that it's actually happening.

At one point today I suddenly realized, Six more days. Well, technically it's seven, but since I'm hitting the road immediately after breakfast on the last day, I'm not counting that. So, six days to finish packing, take care of a few final things like canceling my post office box and whatnot, and rent the U-Haul truck. I've been packing a bit every day so it won't have to be done all at once, but a lot of my stuff can't be moved until I actually load it onto the truck, like the bed and tables and my desk. But that's all big stuff, so it won't take long to move.

And in between everything else, I try to get a bit of writing done. Right now my focus is a serialized story I've had going for quite a while, Elsewhere. I ran into a rather bad case of writer's block on it and haven't updated it in almost a year, so I'm trying to get back into it by revising the first few chapters and hoping that'll break through my mental blockage. I've also decided to try an experiment with it, and put it up on Amazon's Kindle Direct platform to see if I can bring in a little extra money, since I'll need it while I'm job-hunting. I'm putting each installment up on Amazon for 99 cents each. Got four "episodes" up so far (linked on the right) and a fifth on the way. Had a draft of the sixth one done, but it's pretty short; I'd started working on the seventh a while back, but will end up combining them so it'll be a decent-sized chunk of story.

Also, I'm hoping that putting them up for sale will help me impose a deadline on myself so I'll finally get back into a writing routine. I'm hoping I'll be able to get one installment posted per month (if not sooner). The first five, since they were already written, I decided to put up ASAP, so they'll already be up before I spend three days moving and however much longer to get done all the other stuff I'll need to do, like getting an Arizona driver's licence.

I'm contemplating ideas for some other writing-related stuff to put on Amazon, as well. Whatever job I end up getting in Tucson will likely be part-time for the foreseeable future, and wherever it is I'll most likely be starting over at the bottom, so I'll need a way to supplement my income. And, honestly, the ideal situation for me would be to make enough money writing to get by with my novels and stories serving as my only source of income. The last twenty years of working in fast food and then retail came alarmingly close to driving me off the deep end, so I really would very much like to not put myself in that situation ever again.

Probably won't work out, but you never know until you try, right? If nothing else, giving this a shot might at least get me started writing more than just one chapter of a novel every six months or more.

Anyway, more on all of that as it develops....

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A lot going on

My writing has always been kind of sporadic over the last few years, but the last few weeks...well, I'm focusing most of my time on finding an apartment in Tucson so it'll be ready to move in when I get there, and packing and cleaning up my apartment here. Looks like there's a good chance of that happening, though. I found a really nice one that has a bedroom, a washer and dryer, and a private balcony/patio (from the pictures I've seen, it looks like the one I'm going for is on the upper floor, so it'd be a balcony), and it's in a really nice area with a park nearby and a wide-open view of the sky, which is the kind of view I love. Where I live now, there are close mountains all around, and it makes me feel kind of boxed-in.

And that apartment is only $50/month more than I'm paying for this tiny-ass studio apartment now (the rent in this little town tends to be really high for some inexplicable reason). And things are progressing smoothly...the lease should be ready tomorrow, then I'll pay the first month's rent, and then I'll be set. Then I'll hit the road on the 31st. The drive from here will be around twenty, maybe twenty-one hours, so I figure I can do it in three days. And then I'll be over 1,300 miles away from this cold, wet, depressing, nasty, vile town on the Oregon coast. I'm pretty sure I have seasonal affective disorder--during winters here, with the nearly constant rain and often bone-penetrating cold and dark gray sky and 97% goddamned humidity, I usually sink into depression and lose any motivation to do anything. Once I can look out the window and see sunshine on most days, and not wake up shivering in the morning, I'll be okay. Might even be able to get back into a regular writing routine.

The balcony would make a good "office," now that I think about it. I've got a little patio table and a stool that would fit nicely there. It'd be great to sit there with my laptop and a coffee and a view of the park and the sky, and crank out chapter after chapter.

Since I can only afford a 10-foot U-Haul, I'm tossing out all the junk I've accumulated over the years and never even touch anymore. Been planning to do that anyway, but now I have an excuse to get around to it. It's really nice to have a month to do it, too, and not have to rush through it all in a couple days. Never had that before...every other time I had to move, I never really knew where I'd end up until the last moment, and could never afford a U-Haul. Mad rush to pack everything into the car and make trip after trip until everything was moved. Ugh. That was sometimes more interesting than other times, depending on the car I had at the time. Imagine stuffing a kitchen table into the trunk of a 1987 Nissan Pulsar, along with a bunch of other stuff, and still getting the trunk lid closed. Yeah. I'm so glad I don't have to go through that this time.

Anyway, that's where most of my time is going, these days. Still, I really want to take just a day and finish a chapter on one of the several different stories I'm working on. And there's also a bit of a rant that's been percolating in my head for a while, about Mass Effect. Specifically, Mass Effect 3, bad writing, limiting the story you're telling to a trilogy and veering off into a completely different direction with the middle installment, rushing to get your story back on track and finish it all with the third. One of these days I need to sit down and write that all out.

So...that's what's been going on lately, and what's on the horizon. Hopefully things will smooth out after the next few weeks.

For now...just looking forward to the day when I can walk outside without my nipples turning so hard that they'll be able to cut glass....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Beginnings

Okay, it's about time I posted something here. The last few months have been keeping me derailed, and a couple weeks ago a pretty major upheaval in my life started. But this being the start of a new year, I decided to get off my ass and write something.

Haven't had a blog in a while, so here's a quick introduction. I'm a writer. Been a writer for a long time, but haven't gotten anything published beyond a couple novels I put on the Kindle Direct platform. There's finally something happening with my third book, Chaser, though; I submitted it for publication a few months ago, and it's actually being considered. So I'll be doing whatever I can think of to market the book, including posting detailed character profiles here and linking to them from my website and other places.

I'm also doing everything I can think of to get samples of my writing out where people can read them. Including a bit of fanfiction, which I write for the fun of it and as a writing exercise I started to get me out of a bad case of writer's block. And to maybe, possibly, draw a few more readers to the books I'm selling. I'll have more to say about fanfiction another time. Especially Mass Effect. Because...Mass Effect 3. Yeah. The ending wasn't the only problem I have with that game. But that's a whole other rant....

Over on the right you'll see links to just about everything I'm up to around the net. I'll go into more detail on it in later posts, as something new on each project comes up.

The major upheaval I mentioned above started the day I became unemployed. I won't go into detail about it now, but I will say that it was a horrible company to work for, and the store I worked in slowly became a living hell in the seven and a half years I worked there. Stressed me out to the point where I barely slept for three months, and finally just walked off the job in the middle of a shift when everything became just too much.

At that point, I could've looked for another job and very likely never found one that wouldn't come with a $5/hour pay cut...or I could've done something I've been wanting to do the entire twenty years I've lived in this town--pack up and move out. So I'm going for it. Sent in the thirty-day notice today, and now I have a month to get rid of all the crap I've accumulated over the years, pack up only what I absolutely have to bring, and squeeze it into a ten-foot U-Haul.

The town I'm in now is a small, dismal place on the Oregon coast that's almost constantly cold, rainy, and miserable. The only reason I'm still here is because I've never had enough money to leave. I'm not sure I have enough to cover all the expenses now, but if I don't try, I'll probably be stuck here for the rest of my life. The economy here sucks, and the only reason I stuck with the job as long as I did was because that company is pretty much the only game in town. Working somewhere else would've meant starting over at the bottom, and I wouldn't have been able to save up any money to move out of here.

But...screw it. I'm heading for Tucson and I'll make it work even if I run out of money. Think I'll have enough to get there, and rent an apartment if I play my cards right. I'll have to find a job right away to keep it, and that's the most iffy part. Still, like I said, I'll make it work. I've been trying to save up to move there for the last several years, I'm absolutely in love with the place, and I'll figure out a way to make ends meet no matter what. I start shivering if the temperature drops below 70 degrees, and I hate rain and snow with every fiber of my being. I need high temperatures and sunshine. And I just love the scenery around Tucson. As soon as I started considering different places I might want to live, every time I saw a photo of Tucson, I felt intensely homesick, even though I've never been there.

So, my writing output will probably be more sporadic than usual over the next month or two. But I'll keep at it whenever I can, and won't be able to resist posting photos I'll be taking during the 1,300+ mile trip.

Guess that pretty much covers it for now. Got to get back to work. And I'll see if I can add another page to my website later tonight....